Behavior of Domestic Animals

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Stockbridge Sch of Agriculture
George Howe

1. Social Facilitation A. Two animals housed together eat more than their intake when housed separately I. Animals tend to do things in a group—one pig goes to feeder, then all pigs go to feeder B. Social facilitation may increase food intake, can be offset by subordination—pigs eat less in presence of dominant pigs 2. Physiological Regulation A. Body fat and brain mechanism (how animal knows it is becoming fatter) B. First sign of illness is lack of appetite 3. Palatability A. Animals eat more when food tastes good I. Pigs show preference for sweet substances B. Species differ in taste perception 4. Environmental Temperature A. Food intake inversely related to environmental temperature I. Hot weathereat less B. Normally food intake increases and decreases in response to environment temperature rather than internal body temperature I. Feverdecrease food intake 5. Gastrointestinal Factors A. Enzymes inhibit digestion 6. Hormone Levels A. Pigs in estrus decrease food intake 7. Glucose Utilization A. Food intake increases when rate of glucose utilization in brain falls I. Food intake increase by insulin that decreases blood glucose 8. Central Nervous System A. Amphetamines mediate satiety and lower body weight set point B. Depressants can stimulate food intake 1. Dogs A. Free access to foodseat many small meals mainly during daylight hours I. Once a day feeding is not natural/preferred by dogs B. Addition of another animal may increase original pet’s interest in food C.
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